“But they all with one accord began to make excuses…”– Luke 14:18
It is said that invitations to Wedding Feasts and Gala’s in Jesus’ time on earth were done in two stages. The first invitation went out to those invited to get ready. No time or day was given yet, as preparations were still underway. It would be the last servant sent out that would bid the guests to come. They were encouraged to arrive immediately and enjoy what had been prepared for them.
As Jesus spoke with the Scribes and Pharisees, He described to them the setting of a Great Supper. In His parable, the Lord pictured the wealthiest man holding a great feast. It would be the event of the year. Anyone wealthy and famous would be there. An invitation to this event would never be turned down. The men listening to the story would most certainly agree. It appealed to their ostentatious displays of dignity and importance. Nothing would keep them from an event such as this.
Imagine the shock and surprise when Jesus began describing how everyone on the guest list declined. In Christ’s story, it was not one or two regrets, all asked to be excused. The excuses given were irrational, ridiculous, and ludicrous. To those listening to Jesus speak, this would be an impossibility. It would have seemed to them like a joke. “Who in their right mind,” they thought, “would turn down an invitation to the event of a lifetime?” And yet we find they were the guests Jesus was describing. The Old Testament prophets came with the first invitation announcing preparations were being made. Standing directly in front of them was the second Servant, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, bidding them come.
Preparations have been made for everyone, and the invitation still stands today. Everything is ready, and redemption is drawing near. And yet many have not accepted the invitation for salvation. The majority decline and provide excuses not to attend the most significant event the world will ever see—the call of Jesus Christ to the eternal place in the heavens. The last supper with the disciples will not compare with the Great Supper already prepared. Have you asked to be excused from this event, or have you accepted the invitation?
“All things that the bride needs to make herself ready are ready now. And all things that the Bridegroom needs are ready now. The Father is ready to receive you. The Son stands ready to be forever united to you, and to have you united to Him. And the Holy Ghost stands beside the Son ready, and book in hand like the minister, to pronounce you the Lamb’s wife. And it only remains for you to say yes, or no.”– Alexander Whyte